Johannesburg - The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) rejects the proposal by Coal of Africa [JSE:CZA] to place Mooiplaats Colliery on care and maintenance, the union said on Friday.
"We reject the notion that the company's inability to improve productivity and establish profitable operations at Mooiplaats has been hampered by the global downturn in thermal coal prices as the company suggests," NUM national secretary for education Ecliff Tantsi said.
"The battle lines are drawn, the fight is going to be abrasive. It is just due to sheer incompetence, all these."
The union urged the mineral resources department to apply the principle of "use it or lose it" in relation to mining licences.
He appealed to the state to reject the notion of being held to ransom by mining companies whose intention was to keep mining licences while at the same time keeping operations that were not operational.
"The NUM remains of the view that such licences should be revoked and be put on public auction, so that those who wish to mine can come on board," said Tantsi.
Coal of Africa Limited announced on Monday that it proposed placing the Mooiplaats Colliery on care and maintenance, and would begin talks with unions and other parties to cut jobs.
"This decision has not been taken lightly, as CoAL recognises the importance of conserving jobs, but at the same time the need to preserve the company’s financial structure and ensure its future sustainability is paramount," said chairperson David Brown.
Mooiplaats employs 290 employees and 258 contractors.
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